Pragmatism or Sign of Weakness? – Visegrad Countries React Cautiously to the Refugee Pact

Refugee policy has gained momentum. In the run-up to the EU summit, the EU Commission wants to accommodate the representatives of the Central European countries of the Visegrad Group (V4): “Flexible solidarity” is the motto. A compulsory quota and distribution system of refugees among all EU countries will not be implemented. For too long the V4 had opposed the proposal favoured by Germany.

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Reactions to the Migration Pact from Spain and Italy

In Southern Europe, reactions to the EU Commission’s proposal are mixed. In Spain in particular, there is little enthusiasm for the fact that key positions of the country have not been taken into account. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of the PSOE party (“Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party”) is preparing for tough negotiations in Brussels and has asked the three relevant ministries (interior/exterior/migration) to analyse the proposal beforehand. In Italy, on the other hand, the reactions are more positive.

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Overcoming the Migration Deadlock: What Can the New EU Migration Pact Achieve?

The mood was tense when Margaritis Schinas and Ylva Johansson appeared before the press on Wednesday 23 September with their migration pact. “Nobody will be satisfied,” predicted the EU Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs, foreseeing reactions to the more than 300-page proposals, even before the Visegrád heads of government, as expected, began their chorus of critics on Friday.

While human rights and migrant organisations in particular widely criticised the pact, as in their opinion it was too much focused on restrictive migration prevention, not only Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, but also Austria’s Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz signalled that they would not easily agree on the proposals.

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